New story “The Quiet Invasion” has been published in The Ginger Collect Issue 6

The Ginger Collect, publishers of “the weird, the new age and the strange”, have published my short story, The Quiet Invasion, in their latest issue.

The latest of the Million Eyes short storiesThe Quiet Invasion is set in the world of Million Eyes, in which time travel is possible but being kept secret by the powers that be.

The Quiet Invasion is not, in fact, a time travel story. Rather, it is about what could happen if time travel were possible. It follows two officers from a top-secret branch of the Met Police, Division 6 (last seen in my short story, Operation Loch Nesspublished by Idle Ink) as they investigate a mysterious village that no one’s ever heard of and isn’t marked on any maps. A source has informed them that this secret village is inhabited by aliens plotting to take over the world. But the truth could be even stranger…

Click here or the image below to read the story.

I also took part in an interview with The Ginger Collect. I’m not sure when that’s due to be published but I will post a link when it’s up.

In other news, I’m still working on the latest edit of Million Eyes after getting super-helpful feedback from a potential publisher, and I have an agent in mind to send it to when I’m done. I know it seems like an eternal process but I still really believe in the book and want to make sure I do right by it.

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Were JFK and Marilyn Monroe’s deaths linked? Find out in my story “The Babushka Lady”, now published in “The Chronos Chronicles”

Did you ever wonder if the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy might be connected? The lead character in my short story The Babushka Lady is on the trail of the killer — but is everything as it seems?

The Babushka Lady is the latest of the Million Eyes short stories to be released. It’s a time travel story that homes in on the continuing mysteries and conspiracy theories that surround the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and JFK. It also explores the identity of the ‘Babushka Lady’, the woman who saw and took pictures of JFK’s assassination but has never been traced or identified.

The mysterious Babushka Lady

The story has been published in a time travel anthology called The Chronos Chronicles by Indie Authors Press. Sci-fi author Paul Levinson calls it a “riotous feast of time travel stories, fresh and profound, touching the classic bases with a surprising originality and diversity of style”.

The book is out now and available to buy for £9.99 — which is cheap for an anthology! You can find out more about the book and its authors or you can buy a copy.

I hope you enjoy reading The Babushka Lady. It was definitely one of the most fun to write!

If you’re interested in reading more Million Eyes short stories, here is a list of all the places where they’ve been published.

All the places you can read the “Million Eyes” short stories

The Million Eyes short stories are standalone short stories set in the same universe as the Million Eyes Trilogy. Here is a list of all the stories that have been published so far, with little blurbs and links to where you can read them.

Rachel Can See

Rachel Evans is having memories of things that didn’t happen. A shadowy organisation, concerned by what she might reveal, takes action.

Longlisted by Inktears in 2014, Rachel Can See was published in Metamorphose Volume 2 and won an honourable mention. Click the icon below to buy a copy. You can also read a sneak peek on Metamorphose’s website.

Paul

A car crash that wasn’t supposed to happen. A much-loved musician who wasn’t supposed to die. It’s time to set things right — but at what cost?

Shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest 2015, Paul was published by Storgy Magazine (and later re-published in Suspense Magazine). Click the icon to read it.

Who is Rudolph Fentz?

A man discovers that a fictional short story by Jack Finney about weird time travelling goings on in New York might not be so fictional after all.

Who is Rudolph Fentz? was published in Issue 68 of Scribble Magazine and won 3rd prize out of 19 stories in that issue, voted for by the readers. The issue is now out of print, but it was later re-published by Storgy Magazine. Click the icon to read it.

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller

A woman on a mobile phone — in 1928? Film director George Clarke investigates a time-bending oddity on an old Charlie Chaplin DVD, but needs to be careful where he pokes his nose.

This story was published in Issue 11 of Tigershark Magazine (and can be read here) and the March/April 2017 edition of Suspense Magazine. Click the icon to read it in Suspense Magazine.

The Home Secretary is safe 

Cody Evans is sick of hearing about how Mrs Battersby needs to trim her unsightly hedge, but the woman opposite on the train won’t stop saying it. What’s going on?

The Home Secretary is safe was published by sci-fi magazine Phantaxis in Issue 6. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

Operation Loch Ness

DS Claire Garrison is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter. It turns out Nessie is the last of her problems.

The longest of the Million Eyes short stories, this was published by strange fiction magazine Idle Ink. Click the icon to read it.

Rachel Can Still See

What do you do when a time traveller goes rogue? Rachel Evans is about to find out.

The sequel to Rachel Can See, this was published in Phantaxis Issue 7. It was also highly commended by Writers’ Forum and won the Rushmoor Writers Hyde Cup in 2016. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

There are further stories coming soon…

The Babushka Lady will be published by Indie Authors Press in their time travel anthology The Chronos Chronicles, set to be released imminently.

Eryl Mai’s Dream is set to be published by Dark Tales in their forthcoming anthology Dark Tales 17. This is currently set for release sometime in spring, but there’s no firm date yet.

A very loosely linked story, The Emancipation of Google, is due to be published by Theme of Absence next Friday (11th May). More details on that soon.

In other news…

I’m still writing for the Time Travel Nexus, so please follow, like and share my posts on there. I write regularly for a column called Time Travel Nexus Investigates, which is all about time travel conspiracy theories and urban legends. Last month I also wrote a post about time travel in Star Trek and how the 2009 movie buggered up the entire Star Trek universe.

Here is a list of my TTN posts so far, with links:

Time Travel Nexus Investigates

Misc

Lastly, I got some super-positive feedback from a potential publisher on the first novel in the Million Eyes Trilogy, with some constructive advice on things I can improve and strengthen. So I’ve started a new edit. It’s not a major overhaul or anything. It’s just a case of fleshing out and adding to what’s there. Going well so far…

That’s all for now. Oh, and May the 4th be with you!

My story “Operation Loch Ness” has been published by Idle Ink

My short story, Operation Loch Ness, has been published by online short story magazine Idle Ink and is available to read for free here.

This is the latest of the Million Eyes short stories to be published, following Rachel Can See, Rachel Can Still See, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, The Home Secretary is safe, Paul and Who is Rudolph Fentz?

Operation Loch Ness follows multiple characters across time embroiled in the strange goings on at Loch Ness, Scotland. The most prominent of these characters is Detective Sergeant Claire Garrison, who is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter and gets caught up in a deadly, time-bending conspiracy…

Idle Ink is an online publisher of “strange fiction”, initially established in 2017 as a print zine. It is looking for genre fiction and “oddities” too weird to be published anywhere else. I’m very glad that Operation Loch Ness has been deemed strange enough to be part of it!

This week: a rundown of my latest publications, including articles written for the Time Travel Nexus and all the places where you can read the Million Eyes short stories.

“Rachel Can Still See” has been published in Phantaxis Issue 7

My new short story, Rachel Can Still See, has been published in Issue 7 of science fiction and fantasy magazine Phantaxis.

Rachel Can Still See is the sixth of the Million Eyes Short Stories to be published, after Rachel Can See, Paul, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, The Home Secretary is Safe and Who is Rudolph Fentz? 

All these stories are set in the same world as my forthcoming sci-fi thriller Million Eyes and feature the same mysterious conspirators who take centre stage in the novel.

Rachel Can Still See is a direct sequel to Rachel Can See, which was published last year in Metamorphose Volume 2. It continues the story of Rachel Evans, a girl who experiences troubling alternate memories about world events and her own life. Both stories can stand by themselves, so you don’t have to read the first one to understand the second. However, I’d advise doing so in order to get a full picture of Rachel Evans’ journey.

The first story was longlisted by Inktears in 2015 and won an honourable mention in MetamorphoseThe sequel — prior to being accepted for publication by Phantaxis — won the Rushmoor Writers Hyde Cup Competition in 2016 and was later highly commended by Writers’ Forum.

Click on the cover image to buy the magazine from Amazon, or click here.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

“Million Eyes” makes it into the top 20% of the Grindstone Literary Novel Competition

As I continue my tireless search for a literary agent for Million Eyes, it’s great to get some good news from a competition I entered the book into some months back.

It was the 2017 Novel Opening Competition from Grindstone Literary Services, into which I entered the first 1,000 words of Million Eyes. While I didn’t make it into the top 5, I learned when I got my personalised feedback (which every entrant gets in this competition — a great bonus) that I’d made it into the top 20%.

I was super-happy with the feedback I got too. There was a little bit of constructive criticism, but I actually think the recent rewrite I did of the opening remedies most of these points. Some of the highlights from the judge’s feedback were:

One of the most original entries I’ve seen.
This is an intriguing idea, and from what I’ve read so far, seemingly well done. 
Overall, it’s very impressive.

All fantastic to hear. 😀

Next week: did a Japanese department store confuse Jesus with Santa?

My short story “The Bisley Boy” has been shortlisted by Artificium

A nice email dropped in my inbox today. It was from Artificium, an independent publisher that runs short story competitions every spring and summer, and publish an anthology of short fiction, flash fiction and poetry two to three times a year.

The email contained the shortlist for their summer competition and my name was among them! The full title of the story that has been shortlisted is “The Bisley Boy” (Extracts from Margery Ingleby’s journals — Modern English translation).

If anyone’s heard of the ‘Bisley Boy’, you’ll have an idea as to what this story’s about. It’s another Million Eyes short story and is inspired by a famous English conspiracy theory that dates back to Tudor times. I won’t tell you what it is (as it’s technically a big-ass spoiler) but I’ve written an article about it if you want to know!

At the moment it’s just been shortlisted and I believe it gets published in Artificium only if it makes it to the top four. The results are announced at the end of this month — eeek!

This week: Are we any closer to knowing who really killed JFK?

“Million Eyes” updates and the soul-destroying search for a literary agent

I wonder if I write about time travel because of a deep-seated longing to skip the utterly soul-destroying process of trying to pummel into the publishing industry and travel to a point in the future when I’m already there. Dunno. Maybe.

It. Will. Happen. That’s what I have to keep telling myself. It’s what all writers who want to be successful have to keep telling themselves.

Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, my search for a literary agent for Million Eyes has been—so far—fruitless. I’ve submitted to 40 or so agents, nothing positive yet. I could still hear from a few of them because their estimated time for responding isn’t up (and I have the patience of a small child).

I’ve been through a few weeks of tearing my hair out, thinking the book is crap, and doubting that it’s ever going to happen. But then, we all go through that. Even the biggest, most successful authors have gone through that.

Nevertheless, I stopped submitting Million Eyes and took stock. I sought advice from my fellow scribblers at Rushmoor Writers, read them my query letter and opening pages and asked if there was any way I could improve them. Perhaps they’re just not catching agents’ eyes?

The advice I got was great. Mostly they recommended small tweaks to up the intrigue and grab the reader earlier in those opening lines and early pages. They also offered some much-needed words of encouragement: the book is good, and there’s a market for it.

So here I am, confidence resurged, ready to start submitting again. Will this next round of submissions yield any success? Heaven knows, but I’m keeping my chin up and everything crossed.

In other news…

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